Automotive repairs can get pretty costly at times. This is especially true if you don't know how to ensure that you are getting a fair price for the work being done on your car. So how do you keep the rates of repair at their lowest?
Understand the Repair Costs
Before you agree to have any work done on your car, request a written estimate from the mechanic. This estimate should include a complete breakdown of the costs associated with the repair, including:
- The cost of parts.
- The cost of labor.
- The cost of lubricants, fluids or other products that are required.
- The cost of storage fees for repairs that take a long time.
When reading through the estimate, the mechanic should have provided you with the type of parts that will be used to make the repairs. He or she should disclose whether the parts are Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts or if they are aftermarket parts not used during the manufacturing process.
Generally, OEM parts are among the more expensive options and could be replaced using cheaper versions of identical parts. However, in some cases, aftermarket parts can be more expensive because they can improve performance and possibly last longer than OEM parts.
Another thing to look for in the parts being used is whether they are rebuilt parts or not. Rebuilt parts are acceptable to use in many instances, but knowing if the part is rebuilt or not can save you money. Typically, rebuilt parts are cheaper than new.
Now, as far as the cost of labor is concerned, you should be provided an hourly rate and an estimated number of hours the repair should take to complete.
Search Online Repair Estimates
Online repair estimate tools can be found all over the internet. Once you know what repairs need to be made, you simply input the year, make and model of your car and the repairs that are being made. The estimating tool will provide you with the estimated cost of parts and labor for you to use to compare the written estimate to.
You should never make big investments without doing your research first. Automotive repairs can fall into the category of big investments in many instances. Use the above information to find and negotiate the best deal for the work that needs done to your car to keep it safe to drive and running well without breaking the bank.